Rare Mosquito set to be a buzz above Whangarei

By Kristin Edge

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A rare World War II fighter-bomber will fly the skies above Whangarei today before landing so aviation enthusiasts can get a close-up look.

The world's only flying de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber is due to touch down at Whangarei Airport at Onerahi about 11.20am after leaving Ardmore at 11am. If weather conditions allow, the pilot will complete a few passes over the runway before landing.

Former Whangarei man Johnny Antunovich will be on board.

The former commercial pilot, now living in Auckland, sold two Rolls-Royce motors to the restoration team.

The plane is based at Ardmore after an eight-year restoration project. It came to New Zealand after being pulled from a Russian swamp.

It was restored by Glyn Powell and Mike Tunnicliffe, who run Mosquito Aircraft Restoration in Drury, Auckland, and is made of wood.

The Canadian-built Mosquito KA114 is owned by American enthusiast Gerry Jagen, who commissioned the company to restore the bodywork.

It took Mr Powell and Mr Tunnicliffe four years, and experts at Avspecs a further four to fit the instruments. The Mosquito design was one of the major advances in aircraft technology to come out of World War II.

- Northern Advocate

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